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Summery Sauvignons from South America: Bargain Priced

Northside Staff
Tasters: Dave Pohl, ed., Dana Malley, Kelley O’Neill, Alice Peters, Chris Coronel, Jay Reed, Jason Wentworth

As more and more wine drinkers are seeking to economize, several categories of wine have benefitted. One of these is undoubtedly South American Sauvignon Blanc. With a plethora of choices available in the $5-10 range, these whites have become increasingly popular in the past year or two.

Chile, in particular has focused on this grape. In the past much of what was thought to be Sauvignon Blanc in Chilean vineyards was in fact Sauvignon Vert, another name for Tocai Friulano, a grape grown in the Friuli region of Italy. In recent years, increased plantings of the true Sauvignon Blanc grape have made it the most widely planted white grape variety in Chile.

As a follow up to recent tastings of budget priced wines, the staff at Northside Wine and Spirits recently blind tasted a group of 15 Sauvignon Blancs from Chile and Argentina, priced under ten dollars. It was a much more pleasant group of wines than a recent lineup of budget Syrah/Shiraz wines tasted at Northside. Most of these Sauvignon Blancs were well made and tasty.

The first place wine was the very inexpensive ($5.99 per bottle!) 2009 Terranoble Sauvignon Blanc. Terranoble is a new winery, founded in 1993. Their lip smackingly good winner is produced from 100% Sauvignon grapes grown in various parts of Chile’s Valle Central. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks and receives no oak aging. It is packed with citrusy fruit,and finishes crisply and cleanly with a long, grapefruity finish. It is an ideal summer poolside wine, perfect with fresh corn on the cob, grilled chicken or hot dogs!

Another standout in this tasting was the 2008 Terra Andina Sauvignon Blanc, priced $7.99 per bottle, and also produced in Chile. It has a jump out of the glass aroma and tangy flavors that hint at both grapefruit and pepper. This affordable, juicy wine is another great choice for informal summer get-togethers and evening cookouts.

If you would like the full tasting list along with the rankings, please email us your name, phone number, city, and zip code to

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